Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd
Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd

A Burntwood councillor has been suspended from the Conservative group at Staffordshire County Council.

It comes after concerns were raised over a funding application before Cllr Thomas Loughbrough-Rudd’s election from a business belonging to him.

The Climate Action Fund offers a maximum of £2,500 to organisations working on environmental projects across the region. No details have been revealed over the sums allocated in Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd’s case.

A spokesperson for the controlling Conservative group at Staffordshire County Council told Lichfield Live:

“Ambition with the climate change fund was to make it easy and accessible so the governance around it was light touch – however, we have discovered it was perhaps a little too light touch.

“We are now undertaking steps to rectify this.

“Some concerns were raised about money Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd applied for before he became a councillor.

“Pending those enquiries and discussions with the monitoring officer, Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd is suspended from the Conservative group at Staffordshire County Council.”

Staffordshire County Council Conservative group spokesperson

Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd is currently listed as the sole director of Nature Nuturing CIC with Companies House, which is also outlined on his register of interests at the county council.

The company is listed as carrying out activities for the elderly and disabled and supporting performing arts, as well as undertaking activities linked to sport and botanical and zoological gardens.

The business was incorporated in July 2020, but no confirmation statement for the community interest company was made by the deadline in August this year, meaning the company is now listed to be struck off and dissolved.

Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd – who is also a member of Burntwood Town Council – has been approached for comment.

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  1. His Register of Interests at SCC list “Director of Nature Nurturing CIO”. There is no record of Nature Nurturing CIO on the Charity Commission website. His Register of Interests at BTC list “NATURE NUTURING. CIC”

  2. I’ll say one thing for the Conservatives…..they have exactly the same approach towards public finances at the very top levels of the organisation right through to bottom levels. It’s incredible continuity and must take some serious effort.

  3. Eh, what?
    I do hope Cllr Loughborough-Rudd reconsiders his political allegiance.
    He seems a genuinely kind & well-meaning human being. Thoughtful and caring, considerate…is he being paid thousands per hour? I don’t think so. There are Many more tories who should be investigated imo.
    If he were independent, my family in his ward have told me, they’d consider voting for him. Cllr L-R, you don’t need ‘them’ to be yourself & have your political career. Please think about yourself & be well.

  4. A very good friend didn’t say this to me once, so it isn’t wisdom from Burntwood but I think it still applies.

    “As man sows, so shall he reap. In works of fiction, such men are sometimes converted. More often, in real life, they do not change their natures until they are converted into dust.”

  5. On 20th May 2021, Cllr Loughbrough-Rudd declared, at a meeting of SCC, that he was a “Director of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in receipt of funding from the County Council”. One wonders what happened to that funding?

  6. I like Tom despite our political differences, he has been fairly open about some of the issues he faces. I hope those who encouraged him to stand for such office now support him when he may have made a mistake and don’t just cast him aside to face whatever consequences alone.

  7. Putting aside the fact that it seems quite easy for an amount of money to go missing, why is it taking so long to resolve.

    It is a simple question – what happened to the money?

    There should be a simple answer.

    So why are we still waiting fir an answer?

  8. A Freedom of Information request shows that Nature Nurture received £924 for “Tree planting” from The Climate Change Action Fund in 2020. The grant was approved by Cllr Fisher.

  9. Why is this story being ignored by many. There is normally great debate on stories like this yet not even Labour councillors have picked up on it on here or twitter?!

  10. “Hammerwich” is right: I’m a Labour Councillor and leader of one of the Councils that Tom Loughbrough-Rudd sits on but, as yet, this is an internal Conservative Party matter so I haven’t commented on it and I suspect that’s the case with fellow councillors. However, I’ve been concerned that the County Council has seemingly been reluctant to publish the list of grants awarded last year. I’ve been asking since March at least and I had to get the information via a FoI question. Ridiculous, when it’s public money – but let’s see what the “inquiry” into these “concerns” reveals.

  11. Most causes cited in the article seem laudable enough. The real problem lies in verification. Is there any follow up to see if the causes actually recieved these funds, and if so if they are commensurate with the council donations given.
    All too often ‘not for profits’ organisations seem to accrue large running costs. Part of the ‘grey economy’ that needs close scrutiny.

  12. As a local Councillor I am waiting until the Conservative led County Council provides the details that the public has a right to hear before I form a view.

    It is important that people are in possession of all the facts prior to becoming judge and jury on social media as it is entirely possible that there is no wrongdoing and the suspension is a protective measure whilst the facts are ascertained. It will be interesting to see if the whip will be removed at Burntwood Town Council level as would be the case in the Labour Party.

    A number of Burntwood residents have mentioned their concerns to me and I would sum them up below.

    What was in the grant application and what checks were done on how the money was spent once handed over?

    How long have they had concerns or been aware of issues as on the face of it the grant appears to have been prior to the County and PFCC elections where candidates stood alongside the Councillor in question and endorsed him?

    If there is any impropriety, is it just down to one individual or is it down to a number who were aware and did nothing or worse covered it up?

    Is there any element of defrauding the tax payer? If so will this or has this been reported to the police?

    It is important that a process is followed to ascertain the facts and people comment on the facts and not the speculation. Let’s hope the facts are forthcoming and questions like those above are answered. People don’t want the facts hidden away as is the Conservative tendency at national level.

    Once more is known then I am sure people will have more to comment on, at the moment there are only questions.

  13. There seems a lot of questions being raised and no answers at the moment. This needs clarification asap. Perhaps it needs to be escalated to a SCC matter or even a police matter in order for it to be resolved more quickly than it is now.

  14. How come you not run the Councillors right of reply yet? This story was written last Thursday so would of thought it was time to cover his right of reply now.

  15. Joanne – the councillor has been asked (on more than one occasion) for comment and despite saying he would be speaking on this issue he has so far not done so. It’s hard to give right of reply when an individual does not choose to reply.

  16. OK. Thanks. A friend of mine on Facebook said he posted that he was waiting to give his side and that he would explain everything.

  17. It must be a very long explanation for what seems to be a fairly straight-forward matter for it to be taking this long to deliver.

    I was going to ask what “Nature Nuturing” means as I’m a bit stumped.

    But if it is taking this long to tell us what happened to the money, I think its probably best if he sticks with providing an answer to that question for now. I think that is more important at this stage than explaining what sort of nuturing his CIC will be doing to nature.

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